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Help On Hand For Carers Of People With Dementia

We all know dementia is a major problem in the modern world. At the moment in the UK it is estimated that around 800,000 people are suffering from the disease. With many living at home, this means there are also hundreds of family members and friends acting as carers.

Increasingly efforts are being put in to help tackle the disease - recently the G8 agreed to set up a World Dementia Council and UK’s Dr Dennis Gillings has been appointed the first World Dementia Envoy. As part of this role, Dr Gillings will create a World Dementia Council of leading experts in trying to tackle the disease.

But increased help is also on hand for the carers. Dementia creates some very challenging problems and living with a sufferer can bring enormous pressures. By helping carers understand the disease properly and the problems it can bring can assist both the carer and also the sufferer.

The NHS has some good online information and advice for carers

The Alzheimer’s Society has a wealth of information covering a wide range of associated areas.

They have also recently produced an informative booklet aimed specifically for carers of people suffering from dementia.

This booklet contains a host of useful information and emphasizes the fact that every case of dementia is different. It emphasizes the different ways in which dementia can affect people including:

  • Memory loss – this particularly affects day-to-day memory, for example forgetting what happened earlier in the day, not being able to recall the reason for being in a particular shop, being
    repetative or forgetting addresses. Some people remember things from a long time ago much more easily.
  • Communication problems – including problems finding the right words for things, for example describing the function of an item instead of naming it. People might also struggle to
    follow a conversation.
  • Difficulties with thinking things through and planning – problems with carrying out everyday tasks such as handling money.
  • Confusion about time or place – not recognising or getting lost in familiar places or being unaware of the time or date.
  • Sight and vision problems – increased difficulty with reading and judging distances or mistaking shiny, patterned objects or reflections.
  • Unusual emotional behaviour or responses – becoming sad, angry, frightened or upset.
  • Restlessness or disorientation – especially in unfamiliar or noisy environments.

The booklet can be downloaded free from here

As dementia progresses, there may be financial and legal concerns that carers need to get on top of. Again, today many more people know and understand the problems the disease can cause.

Jobcentre Plus offices and also the Pension Service have explanatory leaflets covering dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Society has a factsheet which explains some of the main benefits available for people with dementia and their carers. The Society says that the benefits are yours by right if you qualify and they can make a great difference to lives and should be claimed.

Other sources of advice on financial and legal matters relating to dementia sufferers include the DWP, Jobcentre Plus (who have a specific explanatory leaflet and claim forms) and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Dementia is not going away any time soon, but with the increased professional focus on the disease plus the growing support for both sufferers and carers, there is today an enormous amount of help and advice on hand.


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